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Oceanus Archives


From Macroplastic to Microplastic

From Macroplastic to Microplastic

An estimated eight million tons of plastics enter our oceans each year, yet only one percent can be seen floating at the surface. Researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are trying to understand the fate of “hidden” microplastics and their impacts on marine life and human health.

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Warping Sound in the Ocean

Warping Sound in the Ocean

WHOI scientists warp sound–the primary means of transmitting information in the ocean–to “see” what’s happening below the surface.

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The Secret Tuna Nursery

The Secret Tuna Nursery

WHOI biologists and physical oceanographers combine expertise to reveal a place in the ocean where some tuna are born.

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How Do Corals Build Their Skeletons?

How Do Corals Build Their Skeletons?

WHOI scientists discovered precisely how ocean acidification affects coral skeletons’ a factor that will help scientists predict how corals throughout the world will fare as the oceans become more acidic.

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On (and Below) the Waterfront

On (and Below) the Waterfront

The expansion of the New York metropolitan area’s harbor over the decades has led to big but hidden changes in tidal flows that have environmental impacts.

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Mysteries of the Red Sea

Mysteries of the Red Sea

The Red Sea also has several characteristics not seen in other oceans: extremely warm temperatures, high evaporation rates, odd circulation patterns, and a rare current that sometimes disappears in winter.

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Sentry Completes Its 500th Dive

Sentry Completes Its 500th Dive

WHOI’s free-swimming robot Sentry completed its 500th dive on October 16, 2018, off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The autonomous underwater vehicle has used its sonar systems to help scientists map the seafloor, track the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, locate the voyage data recorder on the sunken El Faro cargo ship, and carry out advanced research on many other missions to help us better understand our ocean and our planet.

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Searching for ‘Super Reefs’

Searching for ‘Super Reefs’

Some corals are less vulnerable to ocean acidification. Can the offspring from these more resilient corals travel to other reefs to help sustain more vulnerable coral populations there?

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MIT-WHOI Joint Program Marks 50th Year

MIT-WHOI Joint Program Marks 50th Year

In 1968, two esteemed scientific institutions launched an unorthodox academic experiment: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography and Applied Ocean Engineering. This year, it celebrated its golden anniversary.

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Marshes, Mosquitoes, and Sea Level Rise

Marshes, Mosquitoes, and Sea Level Rise

In the 1930s, the Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project dug approximately 1,500 miles of ditches across marshes on the Cape to drain their water and reduce the number of ponds where mosquitoes can breed. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution biogeochemist Amanda Spivak is studying how this and other management decisions have changed the ability of coastal marshes to store carbon and protect against sea level rise.

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Can We Improve Monsoon Forecasts?

Can We Improve Monsoon Forecasts?

Scientists are exploring the ocean to gain new insights into forecasting the still-unpredictable monsoon rains that billions of people depend on to irrigate their crops

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The Unseen World on Coral Reefs

The Unseen World on Coral Reefs

We have learned that microbial communities on and within us—a microbiome—keep people healthy. Corals reefs also have their own microbiomes that they couldn’t function without.

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The Recipe for a Harmful Algal Bloom

The Recipe for a Harmful Algal Bloom

Harmful algal blooms can produce toxins that accumulate in shellfish and cause health problems and economic losses. They have increased in strength and frequency worldwide. Can we get advance warnings of when and where they will occur?

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Life at the Edge

What makes the shelf break front such a productive and diverse part of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean? A group of scientists on the research vessel Neil Armstrong spent two weeks at sea in 2018 as part of a three-year, NSF-funded project to find out.

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A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Ocean

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Ocean

Like someone monitoring the traffic flow on a road system, MIT-WHOI Joint Program graduate student Sam Levang is examining the flow of the ocean’s global circulation, which has big impacts of our climate.

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